Fascinated by the music of our times, the Quasar saxophone quartet is dedicated to the creation and promotion of contemporary music. The group's ventures include instrumental music, improvisation, and electronics. Alone or accompanied by a symphony orchestra, acoustic or plugged, Quasar offers its audience a unique and deeply original programming. The ensemble has won 4 OPUS awards awarded by the Conseil québécois de la musique, including the "Artist of the Year" prize. Quasar presents a series of concerts in Montreal and performs regularly in Canada and abroad.

Since its founding in 1994, Quasar has premiered over 80 works, spanning multiple areas of musical creation. A real driving force of creative music, the quartet works closely with composers favouring research, experimentation and the emergence of new ideas. Quasar thus contributes in an exceptional way to the development of Quebec's music while also being credited several premieres of works by foreign composers.

Quasar has also given a strong national and international exposure to new musical works. The quartet has performed across Canada, from Victoria to St. John's, in the United States and in several European countries: France, Switzerland, Germany, Estonia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Sweden, and United Kingdom. Quasar concerts are regularly broadcast by Radio-Canada, CBC and European radio stations.

The quartet has also attracted many collaborative projects with other ensembles such as Totem Contemporain, the Ensemble de la Société de musique contemporaine du Québec, Sixtrum, and Arte Quartet (Switzerland). Quasar was also featured as a soloist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

Quasar is a member of Le Vivier, a grouping of ensembles and organizations working in the new music industry, with a goal to establish a venue for creation, exchange and training in the heart of Montreal.

The Musicians

Soprano saxophone, artistic director
Alto saxophone, administrative director
Photo André Leroux
Tenor saxophone
Barytone saxophone, operations director

AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS

  • Performer of the year

  • Concert of the year new music, electroacoustics: Électro Energico

  • Premiere of the Year: La plénitude du vide by Jean-François Laporte

  • Concert of the year new music, electroacoustics: Électrochocs



20 YEARS CHANNELLING INSPIRATION

Acclaimed for its high energy and boldness, Quasar has, for now over twenty years, explored countless facets of musical creation including chamber music, improvisation, musical theatre and, particularly, the integration of technological developments in electronics with contemporary music, an area in which the quartet has enthusiastically found itself in a leading role. Five-time OPUS Award winners, Quasar has performed throughout Canada, the United States and Europe. Since its founding in 1994, Quasar has premiered over one-hundred works.

ALWAYS LOOKING AHEAD

After over twenty years of experience in contemporary music, Quasar, in its prime, looks to the future with hope, and its characteristic passion and enthusiasm, to the numerous and diverse endeavours it has planned. Still comprised of their four founding members, the quartet is spurred on by their profound determination to evolve and eagerness to take on new challenges.

« Montréal’s Quasar Sax Quartet is a magnificent ensemble. What you get here is what you hear : technical mastery and love of the music. Itself uncompromising, no frills, no gimmicks »
See Magazine (Edmonton) , June 9, 2010
«  …exquisite players who have drawn international acclaim for tackling the most complex parts with real enthusiasm. »
Edmonton Journal , February 5, 2010
« ...ces musiciens sont des poètes autant que des virtuoses de leurs instruments. »
Claude Gingras, La Presse , February 21, 2009
« Parmi les bonnes surprises (du festival MNM) figure le concert "spatialisé" du quatuor de saxophones Quasar et du compositeur Jean-François Laporte. »
Nicolas Baron, Revue Diapason , May 1, 2005
« ...un long moment de virtuosité époustouflante où Quasar fut renversant de justesse, comme de punch; tous les effets spectaculairement en place, allaient droit au but; les ostinatos comme les unissons sidéraient par leur perfection technique... »
François Tousignant, Le Devoir , November 26, 2005
« Quasar est un catalyseur, un allumeur d’incendies, il allume la mèche qui fera sauter la bombe. (...) Quasar était bien évidemment impeccable, et l’on entend un ensemble synchrone, même dans les compositions les plus chaotiques ! »
Normand Babin, Montréalistement , January 30, 2014
« « Facing Death", a wonderful piece deriving its material from one Charlie Parker´s well known solo, was nothing less than a miracle of playing together » »
Aare Tool, Siirp, Eesti Kultuurileth (Tallinn) , October 17, 2014
« « On connaît Quasar pour son ouverture aux grandes musiques d’aujourd’hui et la virtuosité incontestable de ses membres. »            »
Alain Brunet, La Presse , May 18, 2011
« (...) nous retenons la fantastique interprétation de Facing Death, composition de Louis Andriessen qui clôt l’album. Clin d’œil à Charlie Parker, ce morceau de 18 minutes est magnifiquement arrangé pour l’entrecoisement des 4 lignes de saxophone. Bebop et virtuosité. »
Maxime Bouchard, Camuz , February 2, 2016
« «Featuring exclusively acoustic compositions, Du souffle revealsQuasar at the height of its art, carried by the enthusiasm and energy that has always characterized Montréal’s saxophone quartet.» »
Downtown Music Gallery , March 4, 2016

Discography

DAME (collection qb)
DAME (collection qb)
ATMA (ALCD 2 1020)
Dame (collection qb)

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